Hong Kong, China: practical information

Business with Hong Kong – practical information for business in China

Business with Hong Kong: Hong Kong is one of the two special administrative regions of the People’s Republic of China. Despite this, it has its own economic and political system that is independent of China, so if you are thinking about doing business with China, working through Hong Kong can be very interesting.

It is one of the most important financial centers in the world, and Hong Kong’s port is one of the largest in the world.

The city is also appreciated by tourists. According to a report by Euromonitor International, nearly 30 million people visited Hong Kong in 2018, making it the most visited city in the world. If you are also planning to visit Hong Kong, in the following article you will find the most important information and tips to help you during your travels, in addition I recommend you to study about business trip to China.

History of Hong Kong’s origins

During the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD), areas of Hong Kong came under Chinese rule, and so they began to be settled before the native Chinese.

The convenient location of Hong Kong’s main harbor, sheltered from the winds, facilitated the rapid development of the local port. Its heyday was in the seventh century AD, when it received merchant ships sailing on the maritime Silk Road between Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

From the early 16th century, Portuguese, Dutch and French merchants began arriving in the area, and soon the Portuguese established their base in neighboring Macau. China, alarmed by the rapid growth of European activity and influence, consequently imposed some restrictions in the 18th century. One of these was a ban on the opium trade by the British, which led to the outbreak of the First Opium War, which China eventually lost in 1842.

Hong Kong as we know it today is a consequence of that event. Under the Treaty of Nanjing, these areas came under British rule, becoming its colony. From the beginning, it became the center of world trade. In the early 20th century, Hong Kong also became a refuge for many refugees, mostly from mainland China. The large influx of immigrants contributed to the rapid development of industry. Along with the dynamic economic development of mainland China and its opening up to the world, Hong Kong became a gateway to the largest market in the world, basing its economy on services (including financial services).

Business with Hong Kong: One Country, Two Systems

On July 1, 1997, after years of negotiations, Hong Kong was ceded to the People’s Republic of China. The agreement reserves the right to leave broad autonomy and the existing capitalist system for the next 50 years.

Hong Kong has its own legal and judicial system and full economic autonomy, including its own currency (the Hong Kong dollar).

The local government is also responsible for the legislative, executive and judicial branches.

The Chinese government is responsible only for military defense and foreign affairs. Nevertheless, Hong Kong often acts as an independent member, among others in organizations such as the World Trade Organization.

Hong Kong is also exempt from the obligation to use the Mandarin language in education and the media. Hong Kong citizens have their own passports, and the official language next to Chinese (Cantonese) is English.

Another post-colonial legacy is a legal system modeled on British left-hand traffic as well as British traffic jams.

Figures and Facts about Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s population at the end of 2018 was 7.4 million. Given its small area (1,106 km 2 ), it is the 4th most populous country in the world, and 94% of the population is Chinese.

Chinese (Cantonese) is also the most widely spoken language in Hong Kong (used by almost 90% of the population). In terms of GDP per capita, Hong Kong ranks 9th in the world compared to Switzerland ($61,000).

Not without reason it is considered one of the richest cities in the world. Hong Kong has the highest ratio of Rolls Royce per capita.

It is also the city with the most skyscrapers in the world. The city also boasts the highest average IQ in the world of 109 and the world’s largest fleet of double-decker streetcars, which is one of the most important means of public transport in Hong Kong.

In addition, it should be noted that it belongs to one of the safest cities in the world.

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Hong Kong – cost of living information

Hong Kong is located on nearly 200 islands. Nevertheless, the city has a huge deficit of space, which is reflected in another, this time less positive record: one of the highest real estate prices in the world.

The average price per square meter in Hong Kong is currently $28,570, making it the 3rd most expensive city in the world in this respect, and the cost of living is also one of the highest in the world.

Hong Kong – sights and monuments

Due to the fact that the rapid development of Hong Kong began only in the mid-19th century, we do not find there centuries-old monuments known to us from Europe. Some of Hong Kong’s most iconic sites will include:

Victoria Peak, an evening cruise on Victoria Bay, Lantau Island (located on the largest sitting Buddha statue in the world (34m) – Tian Tian) and Disneyland, Tsim Tsa Shui Waterfront, Ocean Park Temples of Ten Thousand Buddhas, and a number of fairs, with the Ladies’ Market and Temple Street Night Market being the most famous.

Hong Kong business trip.

Business with Hong Kong can start with a business trip, in the case of a trip to Hong Kong, Russian citizens do not need a visa to visit Hong Kong for a period not exceeding 14 days

Hong Kong’s airport is located on a separate island near Lantau, but thanks to a well-developed communications network, access to the center is not difficult.

The easiest and fastest option seems to be the Airport Express train, which takes us closer to the center, to stations such as Tsing Yi, Kowloon and Hong Kong (the fare to the last station is 115 in Hong Kong).

At these stations, you can transfer directly to the MTR (subway) line, which will take us to many places in Hong Kong.

A cheaper option is the buses, which will take you to various parts of the city, for which you can buy tickets at the airport windows. In addition, a large number of hotels offer their guests free buses to and from the airport.

Although one of the official languages is English, we may encounter a language barrier in some places, which will not hamper our business with Hong Kong.

We recommend that you download one of the English Cantonese dictionaries before you leave.

It is also worth buying an Octopus card, which we can pay for public transport, pay for in stores and restaurants throughout Hong Kong.

We can buy it immediately at the airport at 7-Eleven, China Travel Service or at the Ctrip booth (in which case you can also order an online card with a personal collection). The adult card costs up to HK$150, of which 50 is in the form of a deposit.

The card can be refilled with cash at thousands of locations such as 7-Eleven and the McDonald’s chain of stores.

If we care about comfortable weather during our stay, we should visit Hong Kong in the fall or winter (the period from mid-September to March). The temperature and humidity during this time are acceptable to people accustomed to a temperate climate.

Shows in Hong Kong

A range of practical information about public transport, hotels, travel guides, etc. You can get information on Hong Kong’s official government website: HKTDC

Because of its location and importance to global business, Hong Kong has many trade fairs covering a wide range of industries.

This is a great opportunity to start a business with Hong Kong, see the goods offered by entrepreneurs in person, and meet a Chinese contractor in person, which can benefit us in the future.

For a complete list of trade shows for 2019 with brief descriptions, please visit the China trade shows section.

Hong Kong is a very attractive city, both from the point of view of a tourist and a person coming there for business purposes, to do business with Hong Kong or to visit numerous exhibitions. Of course, this will give visitors a lot of unforgettable impressions.

Business with Hong Kong: If you have plans to visit Hong Kong, we hope this information has helped you make a final decision on your trip to this interesting place or has been useful in your pre-departure preparation, and if you are interested in specifics on business with China you can always ask for business advice.

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Trip to Hong Kong: practical information and personal experience

I spent my next vacation in Hong Kong, which left very contradictory impressions. Perhaps for the first time, I cannot say unequivocally that I liked or disliked the place. Hong Kong is very different, just a real city of contrasts. I had gathered quite a bit of useful information for tourists before my trip, so I decided to share it in this post.

Hong Kong Panorama

Hong Kong’s panorama

What is Hong Kong?

Hong Kong is a special administrative area of China, not just a city as some people think. It is located on the Kowloon Peninsula (southern China) and on a number of islands, the largest of which is Hong Kong Island. Hong Kong and Hong Kong Island. Lantau.

I will not reprint in detail the history of Hong Kong from the guidebooks here, you can find a lot of information on the subject. I think everyone remembers that Hong Kong used to be a British colony, but then the area was transferred to China in 1997. However, Hong Kong has managed to maintain a certain independence, many strict prohibitions of China do not apply here. As a tourist, I definitely liked the fact that all signage and all information in Hong Kong is duplicated in English and there is no ban on the use of Facebook.

The Stone Jungle

The Stone Jungle

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Airport and passport control in Hong Kong

For citizens of the Russian Federation and Ukraine there is no need to obtain a visa for a tourist trip to Hong Kong. The main condition – your holiday must not exceed 14 days.

Your passport must be valid for more than 3 months after your return. This we checked on our own skin. In China the requirements are stricter, the passport must be valid for more than 6 months.

You will be given a migration card on the plane (or you can pick it up before the passport control). You need to fill in the fields with your first name, last name, nationality, passport, booked hotel, flight number, city where you arrived from, date of entry. Migration card consists of several stapled sheets, but you must fill out the first one. On the second sheet of paper, you will see your data, except for the fields Flight No., Date of Departure, Destination City. These fields you will fill in when you leave the country.

At the window you give your passport and migration card. The officer will give you back your passport without any special notes and slaps a stamp on a small square paper which he gives together with the migration card. Keep these two papers as the apple of your eye as you will give them when leaving Hong Kong and leave the country without any stamp in your passport.

A few words about Hong Kong International Airport. It’s a new airport, which was built not so long ago on an artificial island adjacent to Lantau Island. The construction of the airport was an urgent necessity, because the old airport did not meet the safety requirements. The planes were landing on such a trajectory that the airliners flew very close to the skyscrapers. The passengers could literally look through the windows of the business centers, and the pilots had to make a difficult landing, because the runway went straight into the sea.

The new Hong Kong airport is considered one of the busiest in the world, but it is also one of the best. My first impression of it was a sense of sterile cleanliness. From the sleeve we walked for a long time down a carpeted corridor. And lo and behold, the carpet was clean, without a single stain. The bathroom smelled like a doctor’s office. The Chinese are constantly scrubbing and rubbing something, with masks on their faces and long rubber gloves on their hands.

The Hong Kong airport has two Terminals. You arrive at one terminal, but passport control and receive luggage in another. However, do not be discouraged. Once you get off the plane and enter the airport building, you will walk straight down the hallway because there is no other option. You walk and you walk and you come to a train stop. It’s an unmanned train that takes passengers to the next terminal every few minutes. Once you get off the train, the signs will take you to the passport control windows. It is impossible to get lost, even if you want to.

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Hong Kong Airport

At Hong Kong Airport

If you are in transit, just follow the appropriate signs.

If you must go to Macau or any other place by ferry from the airport, you do not need to cross the border in Hong Kong. You will see a separate exit for ferry passengers.

How to get from Hong Kong Airport to the City

There are three main ways to get from Hong Kong Airport to the city:

    • Airport Express high-speed train (similar to our Aeroexpress train) + Metro
      • bus
        • cab

        I think you should choose the way of getting from the airport depending on where your hotel is located. I personally chose the bus method, because it’s the easiest and cheapest.

        From the airport by bus

        You can get to the bus terminal by following the signs. In front of you will be a bus stand and a ticket office, where you can buy a ticket for the desired bus. With the number of the bus is better to decide in advance with the help of an excellent online service http://www.nwstbus.com.hk/routes/airport-bus/hotel/index.aspx?intLangID=1. You should find your hotel in the list, and remember the number of bus you want to take and the name and number of bus stop. It is very convenient.

        If your hotel is not on the list, you can enter your departure and arrival point and the service will show you on which bus and at which stop you have to get off.

        The bus has an electronic scoreboard, which displays the names and numbers of stops, everything is very clear.

        The buses are double-decker, the fare is about 150 rubles. I really liked it because the trip was cheap and scenic.

        Hong Kong Airport Buses

        Buses from Hong Kong airport

        From the airport by train

        Airport Express runs every 10 minutes from 05:50 to 01:15 daily. The journey between the Airport and downtown Hong Kong takes 24 minutes and the journey time from AsiaWorld-Expo is 28 minutes. You can get to the train by following the airport signs.

        Here is the train schedule

        Airport train stops:

        – Asia-World Expo Station

        – Hong Kong Station

        There is a free bus service for train passengers that can take you to your desired stop in the city. If you have an idea of where you’ll be staying, you can find the number of the bus you need and the stop here http://www.mtr.com.hk/eng/getting_around/complom_free_bus.html.

        From the airport by cab

        Cabs traditionally stand outside the airport if you follow the signs. A trip to the center of Hong Kong Island will cost about HK$400 (multiply by 4 to get rubles). The journey time is about 35 minutes.

        How to pay for public transport in Hong Kong

        In Hong Kong, the most convenient way to pay for your ride is with the Octopus card. This is a plastic card that can be purchased at the airport or at the ticket office at any subway station. You will need to pay 150 Hong Kong dollars (approximately 600 rubles), of which $100 will fall into the account of the Octopus card, and $50 will remain as a deposit for the card. When you return the card you will get $41 back, and $9 is the fee for using the card. You can put extra money on the card at any time, with a limit of HK$1,000.

        Hong Kong Pass

        Hong Kong Pass.

        So, with this card you can pay in all types of public transport (except cabs), at 7eleven supermarkets, museums, cinemas, stores and so on. First, when you pay by card, the fare is slightly cheaper, and secondly, you do not have to forever rattle with change.

        In the subway, you can buy a ticket at a cashier or vending machine, or you can buy a pass for the day. But in buses and streetcars you’ll have to prepare to pay without change, because the driver has no obligation to give it to you. If you don’t have change, you’ll have to pay more for your fare.

        I recommend buying a card because it is really very convenient.

        Hong Kong Transport

        Hong Kong Transportation

        Features of Hong Kong Hotels

        The first feature of hotels in Hong Kong, I would call a rather high price for accommodation. The fact is that Hong Kong has one of the highest land prices in the world, so you have to be prepared to pay twice as much for a hotel as in Europe.

        Despite the high cost of living, as a rule, rooms in hotels are tiny. The view from the window greatly affects the cost of living. Often hotel rooms are sold at different prices, the higher ones are called deluxe rooms, because the window overlooks the skyscrapers of Hong Kong, not the wall of the neighboring house. And when it comes to rooms with a view of the sea and Victoria Bay, who needs to say?

        In many hotels in Hong Kong the toilet and bathroom in the room are made of glass. Sometimes there are curtains, partially frosted glass … In general, if you care about this fact, then pay attention to photos of rooms.

        View from a hotel in Hong Kong

        View from the hotel in Hong Kong

        And another important nuance of hotels in Hong Kong is an idiotic system of deposits. While choosing a hotel in Hong Kong I read a lot of reviews. In almost every review, people wrote about how the hotel blocks the cost of living when you book, and when you check in or check out the hotel withdraws the amount again. As a result, the first blocked amount you have to wait about 30 days (it’s our banks so long blocked money back). Plus, hotels often still take extra money as a deposit, even in 3*. I advise when booking to write a comment that you will pay a deposit in cash on arrival, so you do not block the amount of your stay. But also, accordingly, don’t forget to bring enough cash with you.

        Hong Kong's tallest buildings

        Hong Kong Heights

        How to get around Hong Kong by Tube

        In Hong Kong, almost any sightseeing attraction can be reached by Metro. The subway is fairly conventional and all stations are duplicated in English. As in Europe, directional signs reflect the end of a branch station.

        The peculiarity of trips in the Hong Kong subway can be called the fact that the fare depends on the distance of the trip. If you buy a ticket, you should press the station you want on the display, the machine will calculate the cost of the trip and ask to pay.

        It is very important to keep the ticket until the end of the trip, because at the end of the trip you will need to put the ticket through the turnstile again to get out of the subway.

        If you use Octopus card, you put it to the turnstile at the entrance of the subway, and then at the exit – at that moment the card will be written off the cost of the trip.

        You can see the cost of the trip in the subway by clicking on the picture below.

        Another peculiarity of the Hong Kong subway is a huge number of exits. To avoid confusion, each exit is marked with a letter (A, B, C, D, E, F, etc.). There are many signs in the subway, and for each exit is written a list of sights and streets to which it leads. The exits can be very long, so look on the map to see which exit letter is written where you need to go.

        And in general, the subway is very technological and modern, everything is intuitive.

        Metro map of Hong Kong

        Hong Kong subway layout

        How to get around Hong Kong by bus or streetcar

        There are streetcar lines running around Hong Kong Island. The tracks are lined with double-decker, narrow wagons that look ridiculous against the backdrop of a modern metropolis.

        You must enter the streetcar through the back door and exit and pay the fare through the front door. This means that streetcars have a postpaid fare.

        Buses in Hong Kong are also double-decker, but much more modern, with electronic displays, air conditioning and padded seats. There are many buses and stops with route numbers are found at every step. In order to understand which bus to take, I recommend using the online route building service .

        You have to get on the bus through the front door, pay the fare right away, and get off through the back.

        I prefer ground transportation because I like to look out the window. Plus, I don’t have to waste time walking through long subway passages.

        Hong Kong's two-storey streetcars

        Hong Kong’s double-decker streetcars

        Touring by tour bus in Hong Kong

        Like any self-respecting city that loves tourists, Hong Kong has a hop-on-hop-off bus service from BigBus .

        Tickets for the sititour can be purchased online at 15% off ($52 or $44.2 with a discount), or at the bus boarding points. In addition to unlimited rides throughout the day on all routes, the tour includes 2 more city ferry tickets, Peak Tram tickets to Victoria Peak, and a boat ride ticket on Aberdeen Bay.

        By the way, a tour of Hong Kong at night is also included in the ticket price.

        All in all, it is quite a bargain, and in fact, in good weather it is so nice to ride around Hong Kong on the second floor of an open-top bus.

        The Big Bus in Hong Kong

        The Big Bus in Hong Kong

        Hong Kong’s main attractions

        Since this post is rather general in nature, I will take the liberty of outlining the top 10 attractions in Hong Kong here. Of course, there are many more things to see and do in Hong Kong, but you have to start somewhere.

        Hong Kong

        Hong Kong

        Analogous to the American Alley, only the stars here are Hong Kong stars. Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee are probably the only ones known to the general public.

        A beautiful spot on a high hill with a great view of the city, you can walk, dine, and shop.

        • Ocean Park Hong Kong Entertainment Park

        A park where you can visit the oceanarium, meet giant pandas, go on rides, watch dolphin shows. The park consists of two parts, on different sides of the hill, and a cable car runs between them.

        • Hong Kong Disneyland

        The youngest and smallest Disneyland in the world.

        • Aberdeen Cove with fishing dwellings on the water.

        An unusual site where there used to be a floating fishing village. Although some still live in boats.

        • Ngong Ping 360 ropeway to Buddha statue

        A very long ropeway that is an attraction in itself. For the most adventurous, there are cabins with a transparent floor. The cable car leads to the Buddhist monastery and the statue of a huge sitting Buddha.

        • Night City and A Symphony of Lights laser show

        Skyscrapers rise along Victoria Bay and when the sun goes down they glow in fiery flames. At 8 p.m. each day there’s a light show to music and you can watch it from both the Kowloon and Hong Kong sides.

        • Sky100 Hong Kong Observation Deck

        In Hong Kong, you can climb to the top of the 100th floor to enjoy a sky view of the city.

        The market, which opens in the afternoon, awaits all lovers of haggling and searching through piles of standard stuff for masterpieces. Mostly clothes are sold here, but you can find plenty of souvenirs, too.

        A monument to Hong Kong’s colonial past. It used to be a lighthouse but now it’s just a sightseeing attraction.

        By the way, around the city are placed a huge number of signs with the names of attractions for the tourist. They are very clear.

        Signposts to landmarks in Hong Kong.

        Signposts to landmarks in Hong Kong.

        Food and restaurants in Hong Kong.

        Hong Kong's fast food

        Hong Kong’s fast food.

        The food in Hong Kong is often very special. If you don’t take into account the haute cuisine restaurants, where lunch per person costs about 100 euros, then mainly sushi and noodles are offered in Hong Kong.

        In all areas of the city there are noodle shops for locals, where the menu has no pictures and the names of dishes are not duplicated in English. And there are more chain establishments where you can choose food even without knowing English. There are especially a lot of such establishments in shopping malls.

        Sushi is also available at every corner. I used to eat it almost all the time, because the smells of Chinese food made me feel uncomfortable.

        There are supermarkets in the malls that sell a lot of delicious food. From fresh European buns to very tasty rolls and sashimi. I recommend trying it.

        It’s hard to talk about everything I managed to try in one paragraph, so I’ll put a link to a full food post here (as soon as I write it).

        Hong Kong Sushi

        Sushi in Hong Kong

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